International Tourism in China: The Conceptualization of a Development Pattern Model

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1 International Tourism in China: The Conceptualization of a Development Pattern Model International Journal of Safety and Security in Tourism & Hospitality, Vol. 1 (2):1-19, Xing Huibin School of Housing, Building & Planning. Universiti Sains Malaysia Azizan Marzuki. School of Housing, Building & Planning. Universiti Sains Malaysia Matthew Rofe School of Built & Natural Enviroment. University of South Australia Arman A. Razak School of Housing, Building & Planning. Universiti Sains Malaysia Abstract: Based on UNWTO data, there are 13 Asian countries listed within the top 50 countries that have registered the highest international tourist arrivals as well as international tourism receipts in For the period between 2005 and 2010, China has been steadily ranked in first place in terms of international tourism arrivals in Asia. From the aspect of international tourism receipts, China is similarly ranked at the first position among 13 Asia and Pacific Region countries. However, China is only ranked at the second to last place for the average tourist consumption by international tourists. According to calculation of prediction data presented in this paper, China needs to increase the average tourist consumption to at least USD to be amongst the highest recipients in Asia. Based on the 2010 database compiled by UNWTO, there are only three countries in Asia and the Pacific region with an average tourist consumption of international tourism above USD ; these being Australia, India and Macao. The international tourism development strategies of these countries or region are considered and presented critically as a basis for a proposed model of international tourism development in China. Keywords: international tourism, tourist arrival, tourism receipt, tourism consumption and China tourism Resumen La Organización Mundial de Turismo ha suministrado información acerca de 13 países asiáticos que desde 2010 se perfilan dentro de los 50 países de mayor arribo de turistas. Para el periodo comprendido entre 2005 y 2010, China se ha posicionado como un destino importante dentro de estos flujos. Sólo tres países como Australia, India y Macao cuyo gasto turístico ascendería a USD El siguiente modelo considera dos variables importantes; en primer lugar, el volumen de flujos turísticos que recibe un país, segundo el grado de vulnerabilidad que supone el incremento de esos flujos para el receptor. Palabras Claves: Turismo internacional, Arribos, Renta, Consumo, Turismo en China. 1

2 Introduction International tourism occurs when people travel across international borders outside their usual residence and place of work and stay for at least 24 hours. the motivations for such travel are varied, but are typically recognised as being broadly influenced by recreation, health, family and friendship visits, business, education, religion and sports, (see for example Chan et al., 2005). As one of the most important foreign exchange earners, investment catalyst, employment generator and knowledge disseminator (Brida et al., 2011), international tourism is playing an increasingly significant role in all countries. However, the positive economic benefits of tourism are especially attractive to developing countries (Zhang et al., 2000). Significant scholarly attention has been devoted to international tourism since the early 1980s. International tourism was first viewed through a quantitative economics perspective, which formed the basis for additional research systems in international tourism and later was divided into three distinct research foci exploring effect assessments, tourist demands and tourist flows. With regards to effect assessment models of international tourism, many such studies employ econometric techniques such as social accounting matrix, computable general equilibrium and tourist satellite accounts to explore the relation between input, output, demand and supply (Archer, 1996; Briassoulis, 1991; Fletcher, 1989; Hara, 2008). Research into international tourist demand has grown in prominence, focusing particularly on impact factors and travel motivations. Nowadays in tourism literature, there is a consensus that international tourist demand is impacted on and influenced by factors such as income (Archer, 1996), price (Anastasopoulos, 1984), marketing (Tremblay 1989), perceived risk (Leep & Gibson, 2003), trends and fashion (Williams & Zelinsky, 1979). With regards to tourist flows, various quantitative models have been applied in the demand studies of international tourists, such as the moving average/decomposition model (Frechtling, 1996), regression-orientated model (Crouch, 1992), various exponential smoothing method (Saunders, et al., 1987), Box-Jenkins model (Di Benedetto & Bojanic, 1993; Witt et al., 1994; Turner, et al., 1995), meta-analysis (Crouch, 1992) and spectral analysis model (Coshall, 2000). In fact, international tourist flow is related to international tourism as both subjects are linked in the same way to common issues such as finance, tourist perception, culture, society and environment (Coshall, 2000). China is emerging as a significant international tourism destination. This growth has spurred the development of a rapidly emerging Chinese tourism literature. Broadly, the Chinese literature pertaining to international tourism research is addressed from four angles; development pattern, tourist demand, regional disparity and tourist flow. Those papers addressing tourism development 2

3 patterns concentrate on a diverse array of facets of the tourism industry including product management, general and specifically designed infrastructure, tourism resources, promotion and marketing, the strengthening of international cooperation, policy and standards management, changes in and the development of operational concepts, adjustments in organizational structures, government policy and economic support, development of high-end and middle end markets, organizing large-scale events; developing distinctive souvenirs and the education and training of tourism practitioners (see Han, 2004; Chen & Sheng, 2007; Liao, 2009; Xiong & Xu, 2010). Research into tourist demand has been studied in detail through the application of several quantitative methods, such as Grey Theory (Zhu et al., 2005), Tourism-Background-Curve (Ma & Sun, 2009), Shift-Share Method (Zhou, 2008) and Vector Auto-regression (Wang & Huang, 2010). Similarly adopting a quantitative research approach, studies into international tourism flow aspects (Liu et al., 2010; Wu & Pan, 2010) and tourism competition (Guo, 2007) have employed econometric methods to good effect. Finally, scholars often distinguish the regional disparity of international tourism geographically, exploring the spatial influences and dynamics of coastal as opposed to inland tourism (Zhou, 2008; Chen & Huang, 2006). Interestingly, the majority of empirical studies on international tourism in China often adopt a specific providence or city as a research case study. Such an approach arguably enables comparisons between case study regions where comparable forms of research analysis have been applied. In this vein, the research analyzes and compares the contemporary average consumption by international tourists visiting China with the average consumption for international tourists within the top 13 Asia and the Pacific region countries as identified by both international tourism arrivals and receipts. Based on the calculation and comparisons presented below, Australia, India and Macao were selected as comparative case studies because their development experiences in international tourism are regarded as more successful than China. Following from the statistical analysis, the paper then outlines and summarizes the successful experiences of international tourism development within the three comparative international case studies. The paper concludes with consideration of a development pattern for international tourism in China the based on the analysis of the Asia-Pacific regions most successful international tourism markets The Growth of International Tourism in Asia and the Pacific region Since the late 1970s, international tourism has experienced rapid growth at the global scale (Akkemik, 2011). The movement of international tourists has increased from 25 million in 1950 to 277 million in 1980, 439 million in 1990, 684 million in 2000 and up to 935 million in 2010 (UNWTO, 2011). UNWTO forecasts project a continuous increase in international tourist 3

4 movements, where growth is expected to record a further 4% to 5% expansion in 2011 (UNWTO, 2011). International tourist arrivals in Asia, arguably the world s fastest growing international tourism region, reached million arrivals in 2010, significantly up on the 181 million arrivals recorded in The significance of Asia as a key tourism region is underlined by the fact that the recorded 2010 arrivals to Asia account for 21.8% of the global international tourism market. According to the World Tourism Rankings (UNWTO, 2011), 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific region are listed in the top 50 countries, both by international tourist arrivals as well as international tourism receipts in China is ranked as the top country in terms of international tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific Region with a growth rate of 10.9% in 2010 compared to a decline of 4.14% in 2009 (see Table 1). Table 1: International Tourists Arrivals in Asia and the Pacific Region (Million) Rank Country arrivals rank arrivals rank arrivals rank arrivals rank arrivals rank arrivals rank China Malaysia Hong Kong Thailand Macao Singapore South Korea Japan Indonesia Australia India Taiwan Vietnam Moreover, China has also recorded the largest international tourism receipts in Asia and the Pacific region in 2010, amounting to USD 45.8 billion of income when compared to the second placed nation, Australia, with an income of USD 30.1 billion. For the period between 2006 and 2010, China has received a steady annual growth of 9.5% in terms of international tourism receipts (see Table 2). Table 3: International Tourism Receipts in Asia and the Pacific Region (Billion USD) Rank Country receipt rank receipt rank receipt rank receipt rank receipt rank receipt rank China Australia Macao Hong Kong Thailand Malaysia India

5 Singapore Japan South Korea Taiwan Indonesia New Zealand Vietnam Notes: The figure is calculated according to the average growth rate of the past years average in Macao and the overall current average in the North-East Asia region (respectively a 50% significance), as there is no the statistics within the UNWTO report New Zealand is excluded from further analysis because it is not listed in the top 50 countries by international tourism arrivals in spite of its relatively high international tourism receipts. Nevertheless, the biggest number of tourist arrivals and receipts received by China has failed to push more revenue in terms of tourist consumption. China still lags far behind from other countries, with average revenue of USD 822.3, compared to the average revenue of USD earned in Australia. From 2005 till 2010, the growth of tourist consumption by international tourists in China has only shown a small increase, from USD in 2005 to USD in 2010.The average tourist consumption in China and other countries in Asia and the Pacific region is calculated using the formula below; ATC = TR TA (1) i i Where ATC is the abbreviation of the average tourist consumption; country i ; TR i is the tourism receipts of TA i is the tourist arrivals of country i. Based on formula (1), the average tourist consumption of international tourism (ATCIT) in the top 13 countries from 2005 to 2010 was calculated and shown in Table 3. Table 3: Average Tourists Consumption in Asia and the Pacific Region (USD) Rank Country average rank average rank average rank average rank average rank average rank Australia India Macao Singapore Japan Taiwan Thailand Hong Kong

6 South Korea Indonesia Vietnam China Malaysia The Potential of International Tourism in China Although the average tourist consumption of international tourism in China (822.3 USD) is far below the average level in the whole of Asia and the Pacific region in 2010 (1220 USD), the weakness in ATCIT reveals significant potential for international tourism in China. Since the growth rate of tourist arrivals in China is relatively less than that of the whole Asia and the Pacific region in 2010 (9.4 % < 12.7%), the most practical and effective way to improve international receipts in China undoubtedly would be to increase ATCIT. This can be shown by using the following formula to calculate the existing tourist consumption in China. By inserting the 2010 data into the formula, the following equation is generated: E ATC TR j TAi = (2) Where levels; E ATC is the expected ATC ; TR j is the tourism receipts of country j which are the expected TA i is the tourist arrivals of countryi. Based on the calculation, the assumption to be made is if the average international tourist consumption in China can reach the average level in Asia and the Pacific region (1222 USD in 2010), then international tourism receipts in China would reach (billion USD). This in turn would mean China would overtake France and Spain as the second top country behind the United States of America. By using formula (2), if the average consumption of international tourists in China can reach USD, then China would also surpass the United States as the largest country in terms of international tourism receipts. As previously illustrated in Table 3, those countries who s ATCIT has surpassed USD during the last 6 years, namely, Australia, India and Macao, have also reached USD in What this would mean is that once the international tourism development in China catches up with that of these 3 countries, alluring prospects and potential will be just looming ahead. Nevertheless, the existing situation with low tourist consumption would also place international tourism in China in jeopardy, especially in 4 aspects. The first of these would be a continuation of 6

7 China s relative reduced market competitiveness. Since the majority of countries in Asia and the Pacific region are considered developing countries with weak, but promising, economic foundation, it is recognised that these countries should give priority to the development of international tourism for foreign exchange (Song, 2005). Thus, the similar tourist market and resource composition in this region could provide stiff competition for China in term of tourist arrival and receipts (Hu et al., 2007; Song, 2005). In fact, the lower ATCIT would make China as a less competitive tourist destination compared to other nations in Asia and the Pacific region (Wu, 2007). Second, is the impact of sustainable development within China. A low ATCIT means the utilization rate of tourism resource per unit of tourism receipt is very high. Comparatively, the tourism resource in China is used more frequently compared to other countries and regions with high ATCIT and would potentially present a great risk of destroying tourism resources. Risk is acknowledged within the tourism literature as being of critical concern for the maintenance existing and the development of future tourism markets. The consideration of risk with regards to international tourism markets is multi-faceted and complex, including loss of tourism receipts to spill-over into competing tourism regions (Hoti t al. 2007), environmental degradation with a specific emphasis on the potential impacts of climate change (Amelung et al. 2007) and the impacts of the perception of risk amongst the tourism market (Gooh 2006; Kozak et al. 2007). Managing both these risks and considering how they may change and develop into the future is a critical dimension of effective tourism management and development for governments generally and the tourism industry specifically (Butler and Waldbrook 2003). With reference to China, a low ATCIT would also reduce income from tourism industry and significantly cause a problem in term of maintenance and development of tourism infrastructure which is a prerequisite to satisfy tourists need. Moreover, the relatively low income would gradually dampen the enthusiasm of tourism operators and investors participation in tourism planning and development which are very important for the growth of international tourism, especially in developing countries. Finally, an additional and significant risk is the diversion of government attention from international tourism. It is well known that government involvements are vital to drive tourism development in undeveloped regions. However, governments may put more attention on other industries if international tourism cannot improve its average tourist consumption. In reality, without financial and policy supports by government, it would be very difficult for international tourism to growth in an aggressively prodevelopment country like China. Nevertheless, China still has a great potential for international tourism development. However, more effort is needed to increase tourist consumption in China and involvement from the 7

8 government and private sector are considered to be crucial to attract more visitations from international and domestic tourists within the country. Case Studies on the Development of International Tourism As can be appreciated, international tourism is an integrated system that includes investment, marketing, management, travel, accommodation, eating, shopping, amusement and other related activities. In the case of China, the strategy to improve ATCIT should be based on systematic development experiences, modeled on the experiences and strategies of the successful countries within the region. Thus, for the purpose of comparison, three countries, Australia, India and Macao, have been chosen for further discussion based on their success in international tourism planning and development. 1. The Development of International Tourism in Australia Since 2007, tourism is the second largest source of foreign exchange in Australia after the mining industry. Australia received the highest ATCIT in Asia and the Pacific region from , recording a steady growth of USD in 2009 to USD in Several researchers (see Zhu, 2011; Lu, 2009; Zhang, 2009; Griffin & Darcy, 1997; Platt, et al., 1991) have pointed out that the rapid development of international tourism in Australia stems from 11 positive factors. These are: (1) the availability of multicultural cuisine choices catering to tourists from all over the world; (2) A systematic approach to tourism promotion and marketing, such as establishing overseas offices in major countries of tourist origin and the globally marketed Best Job in the World campaign; (3) Strong government support at both State and Federal levels with clear scope in terms of responsibility, exemplified by the Australia Tourist Commission, where its main responsibility is overseas marketing;(4) Multiple sources of investment including government, private, foreigners, local communities and corporations; (5) The wide and positive involvement of the public and various associations in decision-making as well as enacting rules and regulations; (6) Abundant tourism souvenirs with a strong local flavour that reflect the unique regional and/or local culture that they represent; (7) Humanized tourist services and infrastructure, such as public tourist information system and barrier-free tourist infrastructure;(8) Highly cost effective or free entrance tickets to tourism facilities and attractions; (9) A significant number of international tournaments and festivals, such as the Australia Open Tennis tournament and the Melbourne Cup horse race;(10) Strategies that seek to combine two or more market strategies, such as penetrating older markets (for example ecotourism) while developing new and innovative markets (such as backpacking tourism) ; (11) enforcing underlying sustainable tourism development principles throughout all 8

9 strategies. These factors combined reflect strong government support and a highly effective and coordinated tourism development, management and marketing approach. 2. The Development of International Tourism in India The international tourism sector in India has, over the past few years, developed very rapidly in the success of this is attested to by 2010 data that reveals that India received 5.58 million international tourists representing a national market growth of 9.4%. The ATCIT in India typically exceeds USD 1900, as evident during the periods. The flourishing international tourism sector in India is largely due to the following 6 aspects: (1) comprehensive tourism policies at national and state levels as well as specific urban regions, like Delhi; (2) a double-tier pricing system where ticket prices are much higher for international tourists when compared with fares paid by domestic tourists; (3) the introduction of preferential policies that promote and increase international tourism, such as a less stringent air traffic control policy, the development of new flight routes and timely adjustments to aviation gasoline price fluctuations; (4) a matured and distinctive traffic network, including convenient railway and train systems, cheap airline services, bus, taxi, TUTU tricycle, use of elephants (such as in Amber Fort) and camels (especially in Northern India); (5) investment patterns that favour public-private partnerships; (6) developing health tourism to cater for a growing international niche tourism market, such as medical tourism which has made India the second largest country in terms of medical tourism in the world and Yoga tourism, which has become one of most distinctive tourism products for international tourists; (7) the effective management and supervision of various tourism organizations and associations (Utravels, 2010; CVIN, 2011; Ptea, 2009; Richter, 1989). Thus, India can be considered as a rapidly developing country that has aggressively pursued a coordinated and highly successful international tourism development strategy. 3. The Development of International Tourism in Macao International tourism acts as the main source of fiscal revenue to Macao. Since the return of Macao to China in 1999, large-scale tourist groups from mainland China have made Macao a major tourism destination. In recent times, Macao has become an enormous entertainment centre for international tourists from the world over, especially in terms of gaming tourism, cultural tourism, vacation tourism, MICE tourism, sightseeing tourism, shopping tourism and cuisine tourism. In 2010, the gaming industry alone contributed USD million, with a growth of 58% compared with that in The ATCIT of Macao in 2009 soared to USD , with a growth rate of 16.24%. 9

10 The rapid development of international tourism in Macao has benefited from and been driven by 6 factors. These include: (1) complete tourism service facilities to meet and satisfy the different and various needs of all kinds of international tourists, (2) strong dependence on the pre-existing older tourist markets such as mainland China and Hong Kong, (3) multiple and abundant gastronomical cuisine blending oriental and western styles, (4) sustainable investment policies combining equity, efficiency and sustainability, (5) considerable support from the Macao government, such as the simplification of tourist entry procedures, establishing overseas tourism service centers and accelerating the development of tourism education, and (6) a large number of international festivals and events, such as the International Fireworks Joint Performance, International Music Festival, Macao Grand Prix, and International Golf Tournament (Fang, 2011; Tong, 2006). Again, Macao s success can be said to be predicated on superior organization and government support. 4. Summary To surmise, the characteristics of international tourism in Australia, India and Macao, that have enabled their ATCIT to surpass USD million, can be divided into four main types, consisting of (1) tourism product, (2) tourism market, (3) tourism management, and (4) clear development principles. Further, these four main dimensions can be expanded to consist of the 19 fields and features as detailed in Table 4. Table 4: Development Experiences of International Tourism in Australia, India and Macao Type Field Feature Representative Tourism Product Distinctive attraction Australia, India, Macao product Festival Multicultural melting pot Australia, India, Macao Service Professional humanization Australia, India, Macao Food and Catering Diversified cultures Australia, Macao Accommodation Strong local flavour Australia, India, Souvenir Variety and uniqueness Australia Tourism market Tourism management Development principle Transportation Tridimensional traffic Australia, India, Macao Investment Multi-channel investment Australia, India, Macao Market segmentation Different market strategy Australia, Macao Promotion Mature promotion system Australia, Macao Pricing Different pricing strategy Australia, India Supporting Developed system Australia, India, Macao Infrastructure Formal management Effective management Australia, India, Macao NGO supervision Tridimensional supervision Australia, Macao Industry chain Systematic, supportive Australia chain Tourism policy Preferential, inclining Australia, India, Macao policy Public participation Wide, deep participation Australia 10

11 Sustainable ideas Sustainable tourism Australia Tourist needs Concerned about market Australia, India, Macao preference Conceptualizing the Form and Structure of International Tourism in China Although the majority of international tourists in Australia, India, Macao and China come from other Asian countries, there are still some differences especially in terms of international visitor structure. Therefore, the existing situation of international tourism should be analyzed before proposing a development pattern construct for international tourism in China. The need for this analysis is underlined by the fact that despite almost million inbound visitors who travelled to China in 2010, only 55.7 million stayed overnight based on the official figures released in the UNWTO Tourism Highlights In addition to this, according to the Foreign Visitor Arrivals Report 2010 released by the China National Tourism Bureau, inbound visitors 1 mainly come from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, accounting for 80.47% of the total visitors to China (Table 5). What is remarkable is that the inbound visitors from other countries have also rapidly increased by 19.1% in 2010, which was far higher than the total increase rate (5.76%) for inbound visitors to China. Table 5: The main sources of Inbound Visitors to China in 2010 (Unit: Ten Thousand) Item Country /Region Arrival Percentage (%) Increase Rate (%) Hong Kong Macao Taiwan Others Total After excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, Table 6 indicates that visitors from South Korea, Japan, Russia, United States, Malaysia and Singapore constitute the main portion of inbound visitors to China, with a total share of 55.25%. The fastest growth is from countries such as Mongolia (37.75%), Russia (35.99%), South Korea (27.49%) and Canada (24.53%), which surpassed the average increase rate (19.10%). Meanwhile, there are also more male than female visitors from these inbound countries except from Japan and Mongolia. About 44.83% visitors from developing countries were from the middle-age (25-44) group, but visitors from more developed countries such as United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Australia were from older age groups (45-64). Table 6: Inbound Visitors to China by Sex and Age , 2 (Unit: Ten Thousand) Items Total Sex Age Arrival Increase Male Femal Unde Over 11

12 Nationality Rate (%) e r Total South Korea Japan Russia United State Malaysia Singapore Philippines Mongolia Canada Australia Others Notes: 3. The data is compiled based on the Foreign Visitor Arrivals Report 2010 released by the China National Tourism Bureau; 4. The statistics on inbound visitors to China did not include visitors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan; 5. The average increase rate is obtained excluding the top 10 countries in visitor arrivals to China. Table 7 shows three different transportation modes used by inbound visitors travelling to China in About 56.97% visitors went to China by foot and the majority of them were from Macao (94.31%) and Hong Kong (62.46%). Meanwhile, the majority of visitors from Taiwan traveled to China by air (53.9%) and almost 60% of visitors from other countries also travelled to China by air. Table 7: The Transport Mode of Inbound Visitors to China in 2010 (Unit: Ten Thousand) Item Sea Air Rail Motor Vehicles Foot Country Arrival % Arrival % Arrival % Arrival % Arrival % Total Hong Kong Macao Taiwan Others In terms of the purpose for visitation, Table 8 points out that after excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, sightseeing and leisure are the main purposes of visit to China for these inbound visitors from most of the countries, except for Mongolia and the Philippines. The majority of visitors from the Philippines come to China for employment and similarly, visitors from Mongolia share this common purpose although meetings and business also reported as their main entry intention. The mode of transport is also one of the more important characteristics which should be 12

13 analyzed before constructing the pattern of international tourism. As mentioned above, most visitors from these inbound countries arrive to China by air. Among these visitors, only those from Russia and Mongolia traveled by motor vehicles, accounting for 50.67% and 77.74% respectively of total arrivals from both countries. Table 8: Inbound Visitors to China by Purpose and Transport Mode , 2 (Unit: Ten Thousand) Items Purpose of visit Mode of Transport Nationality Visiting Meeting/ Sightseeing/ Worker/ Motor Relatives/ Other Sea Air Rail Business Leisure Crew Vehicles Friends Foot Total South Korea Japan Russia United States Malaysia Singapore Philippines Mongolia Canada Australia Others Notes: 1. The data is compiled based on the Foreign Visitor Arrivals Report 2010 released by the China National Tourism Bureau; 2. The statistics on inbound visitors to China do not include visitors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. A Proposed Model of International Tourism in China The development experiences of international tourism in Australia, India and Macao demonstrate that the ATCIT can be increased if international tourism can be further improved with regards to tourism products, tourism market, tourism management and tourism development principles. In the case of China, it is thus proposed that international tourism development should focus on market expansion, resource integration, as well as the development of tourism derivatives and by-products. Since the image and standing of China within international tourism circles is well known, it can be deduced that the basic structures of international tourism are already in existence and in-place. Nevertheless, more focused efforts are needed in terms of enhancing and upgrading pre-existent tourism products and the management of the international tourism industry to enable value added features to be present and functional as an important and main measurement criterion for ATCIT. As such, the proposed model for international tourism in China can be divided into four sectors, 13

14 namely: core attractions, push factors, pull factors and development ideas and principles. These four sectors and their interrelated nature are represented in Figure 1. Sustainable developme nt Market orientation Pull power Multivariate investment Matured promotion Market positioning Flexible pricing Multicultur al cuisines Distincti ve products Attentive service Core attraction Variou s Abunda nt Appealing landscape Effective management Complete infrastructure Extensive supervision Complete industry chain Push power Governmen t support Public participatio n Figure 1: The Development Pattern of International Tourism in China As shown in Figure 1, the core attractions of international tourism in China should progress from and further build on its unique tourism resources, multicultural contexts and superior geographic conditions. Further, it is proposed that these can be specifically divided into six aspects; (1) distinctive products, (2) various festivals, (3) multicultural cuisine, (4) abundant souvenirs, (5) attentive services and (6) appealing landscapes. Furthermore, all international tourism stakeholders should possess and strengthen their mutual cooperation in terms of market development and industry management to extensively push and pull for international tourism growth. In addition to this, these development concepts and principles should also permeate and filter through the entire 14

15 development process of international tourism in China by encompassing effective support from the government, the inclusion of public participation as well as the introduction of sustainable development strategies and market-oriented development. Conclusion The international tourism industry in China has, undoubtedly, enormous growth potential that may be further tapped into, despite a current relatively low ATCIT figure. Based on the analyses of successful experiences in international tourism in Australia, India and Macao, a proposed model is suggested to increase more value added features to further intensify international tourism development in China. The proposed model suggests that China needs to focus more on enhancing core attractions, penetrating and extending markets, strengthening tourism management and as well as providing for more innovative development ideas and principles. The culmination of these strategically focused efforts would ultimately be the potential increase of the average tourist consumption of international tourism in China as well as a more uniform and consistent growth within this nation s international tourism development. Acknowledgements Special thanks for the support provided by USM fellowship Grant, University Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Notes Inbound tourism statistics done by China National Tourism Bureau always include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan due to the historical reasons, though Hong Kong and Macao returned Mainland China respectively in 1997 and References (2009). Research Report on Effects of Macao Tourism from Central Government. from Retrieved on January 5, Akkemik, K. A. (2011). Assessing the importance of international tourism for the Turkish economy: A social accounting matrix analysis. Tourism Management. doi: /j.tourman Anastasopoulos, P. G. E. (1984). Interdependencies in international travel: The role of relative prices. A case study of the Mediterranean region. Ph.D. dissertation, New School for Social Research, New York City. 15

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